Sandra is part of the Families, Effective Learning and Literacy (FELL) research group. Her main research interests are the quality of early education and its effects on child development, early language development and professional development. Sandra’s research is strongly policy-focused, and she has led a number of large-scale evaluations of early childhood initiatives.
Her most recent research studies have considered whether disadvantaged children receive comparable quality early years provision to those from more advantaged backgrounds, and explored the early years experiences of children in care.
She is currently leading the development and implementation of an early years professional development intervention designed to improve children’s oral language skills, which is being tested as part of a randomised controlled trial. Sandra’s research has had significant policy impact, and she is a regular adviser to local and national policy-makers.
Sandra studied psychology at the University of Nottingham and holds a PGCE in Primary Education.